Meet Harroop Gulati Kaur
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
I’m co-founder and CEO of HOURS NEW YORK. We’re a modern, high-quality fashion brand creating consciously crafted clothing, exclusively for sizes 14-28. We believe plus size women should have access to clothing without compromise: beautiful, sustainable and well-crafted.
In the current plus size landscape, it's no surprise that 60% of women over size 14 say they can’t find chic, quality clothing in their size.
As women of color living and working in New York City, our lives are filled with people of unique backgrounds and body types. After saying “No, I don’t know where you can get this in your size” to our family and friends one too many times, my co-founder and I took action to build a brand of beautiful clothing for our friends and other women like them—women who fashion has historically marginalized.
We choose premium fabrics, enlist sustainable partners and innovate plus size designs that go far beyond boring basics and loud patterns to fill the gaps industry bias has left in her wardrobe.
How did you end up in New York?
I’m a Cali girl at my core, but LOVE the energy of NYC. I moved here over a decade ago after I got married and fell in love immediately. My husband likes to joke that I may be from Cali but because I talk fast, walk fast, and don’t have patience for tourists, I am a New Yorker.
Being in NYC has shown me a new world, full of hustle, grit, and people who don’t care what others think. I love that the most.
Proudest moment in your career?
I don’t have a fashion background, in fact, my entire career has been in technology consulting. Starting HOURS was something completely new and something I am so passionate about.
Connecting with our customers will always be my most memorable experience. I still remember the first hand-written note we received from a customer thanking us for creating HOURS and providing her with clothes she can be proud to wear - it certainly brought tears to my eyes.
Is there another career you've fantasized having?
I love to use my hands and be on my feet. Therefore, I’ve often fantasized about having my own coffee shop and making the best Italian cappuccinos in NYC. There is something so intimate about creating a relationship with your patrons, over a marble slab while sipping espresso with extra creme.
What's one unexpected thing that's helped you stay positive during this time?
I had my 2nd child right before lockdown and although I was about to drive myself crazy with the lack of sleep and inability to get help, when I held her close and breastfed her, especially at night, I could feel my stress and tension dissipate. The power of touch and connection can’t be underestimated!
Oh and, I started watching the show Ugly Betty on Hulu! It is hilarious while also reminding me of all the reasons we need brands like HOURS.
Do you have any tips for staying creative/inspired while working from home?
It's easy to get in your head and in the way of your own success, so having an outlet is important. For me, working out is how I keep my blood flowing and my energy high (thank god for my Peloton). I do some of my best thinking when I'm in the middle of a 30-second high-intensity training interval!